Gun Princess Zero
Set in the midst of a cold war, we’re dropped into the middle of a missile crisis and, wouldn’t you know it, Snake wasn’t available. Instead we send a princess to do the dirty work. Luckily she’s more than happy to grab a blaster and vapourise the various aliens, blobs and walking cannons scattered around the place, which makes up for the lack of David Hayter in this platforming military adventure.
Gun Princess Zero is a relatively short (1-2hrs) NES-styled metroidvania with perhaps a dash of Cave Story imbued into its folds. Dropped off at the enemy camp, it’s your task as Princess prime to disarm four nuclear warheads before they go off. Although, given that the bombs seem to be sitting behind enemy lines, it might have made more sense just to let them go off, but sure whatever.
True to the political undertones of cold warfare, the real motive may probably be more to do with a resource grab. In this island, there’s plenty of cash to collect on each screen – which handily regenerates each time you re-enter – making wealth building easier than setting up a pro content marketing hacks blog. Enemies, probably having spent some time already doing this, also drop generous amounts of coin upon death.
Luckily there’s some conveniently placed shops in the game to unload your valuables, that provide you with a nice assortment of additional weapons, from rapid firing machine gun to bouncing fireballs, each of which can be continuously upgraded, as well offering to increase your maximum health, or stock you up on healing or antidote potions.
Despite the abundant wealth, at first the in-game economy felt about right – as there was always something worth saving up for and purchasing. However, the final gun, albeit quite expensive, was easily overpowered. If you’re willing to grind a bit early on, simply saving up for it means you can safely ignore all other weapons for the rest of the game and lay waste to even the final boss without breaking a sweat.
Still, true to retro influence, Gun Princess Zero is a sweet little callback to a time when games were more about being pick-up-n-play than complex. The game won’t take too long to finish, and metroidvania elements are slight – mainly one particular powerup which will let you access new areas – but the game world is relatively non-linear promoting some sense of exploration, and the platforming controls are sufficiently tight.
Gun Princess Zero | Download